Healthcare IT News of the week: Biometric bracelets for patient ID; a recipe for healthcare; EHRs help prescribe antibiotics
Biometric bracelet could send remote-monitoring data on patients to EHRs
Susan D. Hall of FierceHealthIT reported on a research project at Dartmouth College on a biometric bracelet that would match data from medical devices, such as blood pressure cuffs and remote heart monitors, to the correct electronic health record. The bracelets could help make it easier to keep patient identities straight, an issue recently raised by the Bipartisan Policy Center. The technique matches a person's unique physiologic response to a weak signal as it travels through tissues--known as bioimpedance. The individual markers are possible because each person's wrist has its own unique aspects of bone, flesh and blood vessels.
The Cheesecake Factory – A recipe for healthcare?
Renee Montagneof NPR ran an interesting segment with Dr. Atul Gawande, professor of public health at Harvard and author of "The Checklist Manifesto." They discussed an article Dr. Gawande he wrote for the upcoming issue of The New Yorker titled, “Big Med” about how healthcare can learn about cost control, change and adaptability, and service delivery from a restaurant chain, The Cheesecake Factory.
Docs turn more to EHRs to help prescribe antibiotics
Antibiotic resistance is becoming more prominent, especially with children. One might have a recurring bout of an illness even after taking an antibiotic. Or is the antibiotic itself helping people develop a resistance to the meds? A recent study by NorthShore University HealthSystem, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that doctors are often forced to rely on imprecise information – recent news reports, public health updates and their experience seeing patients with symptoms similar to those indicating respiratory health problems – when they’re deciding whether to prescribe antibiotics, and often making the choice to prescribe them ‘just in case.’ Electronic health records (EHRs) are helping doctors share patient data to coordinate care, keep better records, and stay on top of the office even when they’re not there. More precise and timely data help doctors make more effective treatment decisions.
Mobile health market expected to grow nearly 40% by 2018
The market for mobile health applications is expected to reach $11.8 billion by 2018, according to GlobalData, a market research firm. The rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets has boosted the demand for healthcare-related mobile technology, and patients and physicians have adopted apps that cover everything from nutrition to diagnostic imaging. About 70% of available apps are consumer-focused while the rest are geared toward medical professionals. The report noted that the mobile health market—worth $1.2 billion in 2011—is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 39%. The U.S. is the largest market for mobile health technology at $660 million followed by Europe at $420 million and Asia at $120 million.
Questions continue about health insurance exchanges
According to an article by Robert Pear of the New York Times, government officials are preparing to set up and operate new health insurance exchanges in about half the states. When Congress passed legislation to expand coverage two years ago, President Obama and lawmakers assumed that every state would set up its own exchange, a place where people could shop for insurance and get subsidies to help defray the cost. The federal government requires a state exchange to develop a budget, with expected operating costs, revenues and expenditures. States must explain how the revenue will be generated and how the exchange will address any financial deficits.
5 reasons health information exchanges are critical to the success of ACOs
For hospitals looking to transform into accountable care organizations (ACOs), the transition can be overwhelming. According to executives at health information exchange (HIE) technology firm, Medicity, right now, hospitals and doctors are paid on a fee-for-service model, and a fundamental element of an ACO is saying 'we're not going to pay you on that model anymore. We're going to pay you to take care of the overall health of this population. The more proactive you are, and the better quality you deliver, we will share that savings with you.’ The executives discuss why the health information exchange is critical for the ACO, such as the financial model of an ACO is incenting people to want to know what's going on, and HIEs connect the referral pattern from physicians to a hospital or service center
Posted by Davida Dinerman on August 12, 2012 at 10:15 PM